Around the world, millions of Muslims are observing Ramadan—a period during which faithful Muslims fast, pray, and reflect on their moral responsibilities as followers of Islam.
Christians, of course, do not observe Ramadan. So why should Christians spend time thinking about a Muslim holy season?
Understanding Our Neighbors
First, it’s neighborly to be aware of any event that commands the attention of so many people (23% of the world’s population, not far behind Christianity’s 31%). But more to the point, Christians are called to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world, and that means loving and seeking to understand our Muslim neighbors. (Consider how the apostle Paul’s presentation of the gospel in Athens reflected his understanding of his audience’s spiritual beliefs and questions.)
Generate More Light… and Less Heat
Second, the persistent challenge of terrorism and policies related to it has put Muslims in the spotlight, as politicians, pundits, pastors, and everyday citizens attempt to understand the relationship between Islam and terrorist groups that cite Islam as their motivation. Not everyone talking about Islam in the public sphere has a deep understanding of it. As a result, many of those public discussions and statements create more heat than light! Ramadan presents a good opportunity for us to step back from the frenzy of public debate and learn what our Muslim neighbors actually believe, and how their beliefs shape their lives and actions.
In that spirit, here are some online articles and other resources that will help you better understand Islam.
Resources for Being a Christ-like Neighbor During Ramadan
Ramadan is an excellent opportunity for Christians to learn more about their Muslim neighbors, and consider how they can show Christlike love to followers of a religion whose relationship with Christianity has long been married by violence and mutual misunderstanding.
Image: a tile depicting the Kaaba, a building in the Great Mosque in Mecca.
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